Collaboration and Teamwork in Healthcare

For any team to succeed, collaboration must exist in the place as a priority. Healthcare providers and organizations only flourish properly through inter-professional collaboration, which improves innovation among professionals. In a situation where physicians, nurses, and other stakeholders work together through proper communication strategies, quality care and patient satisfaction always emerge. Through this technique, both individual and collective skills arise, hence allowing team members to work together to deliver high-quality output. Nurses often know patients more than any other party in the facility because of their daily interactions. Therefore, sharing this information allows caregivers to come up with a suitable treatment plan for each patient.

Five underlying principles can best define the concept of collaboration. Process, interdependence, power, sharing, and partnership are essential to enhance the provision and management of any healthcare system (Petri, 2010). Sharing refers to the concept of initiating collective efforts towards a particular objective while the partnership in healthcare is all about proper communication and mutual coordination of activities. Therefore, there is an implication that collaboration focuses on pursuing a common set of goals among healthcare providers particularly physicians and nurses. The secret of achieving collaboration in healthcare is trust, working together, and respecting one another (Petri, 2010). In this setting, professionals also assume contemporary roles by working jointly through sharing relevant information with the target of formulating proper plans for patient care. Therefore, collaboration is a lucrative tool for heightening communication, increasing awareness for each other in an organization, and improving decision-making.

Teamwork and cooperation remain an important intervention for many reasons. According to Bender, Connelly, and Brown (2013), working together eliminates a variety of errors, hence improving the safety of patients. It is an essential tool grounded on solid communication to ease the feelings of patients and their family members. Consequently, the approach makes patients accept the given services and feel more satisfied with the treatment. Healthcare organizations also benefit from the element in that the teams participate in breaking down the hierarchy and centralizing power thus enhancing more leverage to workers and administrators of the facility (Bender, Connelly & Brown, 2013). On the other hand, team members become satisfied with their roles. Nurses who participate in teambuilding develop the concept of togetherness and enjoy the variety of skills and expertise contributed by other workmates (Petri, 2010). Such a benefit emerges from the idea of coming together to coordinate a patient’s well-being, which also improves the physicians’ morale.

For effective interdisciplinary collaboration in a healthcare institution, the concerned parties must restructure the workforce. The element deals with changing the organizational values with the emerging and lucrative modes of service delivery (Bender, Connelly & Brown, 2013). Competence, confidence, and commitment must also prevail as characteristics of interdisciplinary collaboration. All parties need to show respect and trust for each other. On the other hand, Petri (2010) explains that proper teamwork coupled with effective communication skills may only result from the element of practicing patience, nurturance, and time. They are helpful in building a stable relationship between healthcare providers and patients. Besides, another research indicates that joint venture, cooperative endeavor, willing participation, shared planning, and decision-making are also helpful in creating an excellent collaboration in healthcare sectors (Petri, 2010). All these elements work towards shunning negative power-sharing while improving organizational development for corrective measures.

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However, some barriers exist which slow down the process of active collaboration within the healthcare institution. Regulatory barriers may include a lack of knowledge and recognition of other professionals in the system (Tang et al., 2013). The approach also fails to succeed on many occasions as a result of compelling arguments, a discrepancy between healthcare providers and senior decision-makers, as well as financial and regulatory constraints in an organization. The team may also suffer from weak hierarchical, administrative, and educational structures. Consequently, it lowers staff morale, hence interfering with effective inter-profession collaboration (Tang et al., 2013). At team levels, the reported barriers include leadership ambiguity, ineffective measurable purpose, poor education regarding interdisciplinary collaboration, and lack of proper mechanisms required to exchange information among the members. In other institutions, conflict on individual relationships to the patient deters collaborative principles from accomplishing the targets. Such a problem also gives rise to an inadequate framework for controversy determination and solution as well as difficulty in engaging the community, which, in turn, results in the apathy of team members (Tang et al., 2013).

Despite the fact that numerous barriers exist today, there are also various strategies employed by institutions to thwart the hurdles during caregiving. One of the approaches is through developing a commitment to a common goal of collaboration. Through this technique, physicians will formulate a qualified working plan because they are working towards a particular objective. Learning about other professions is also necessary for healthcare. Individuals possessing this ability and knowledge develop the competence to inject new methods and skills required to handle the emerging issues. For a team to succeed, there must be a well laid-down procedure for resolving conflicts between individuals. Therefore, correct methods often assist in lowering tensions, improving participants’ relationships, as well as enabling team members to recognize the weaknesses of others in a working institution. Establishing a mechanism for negotiation and re-negotiation of goals and roles over time is another idea recommended by various scholars (Tang et al., 2013). Putting the concept into practice eliminates embargos and helps in defining the goals of a given task, hence motivating individuals to collaborate.

In conclusion, collaboration and teamwork only thrive in healthcare if caregivers trust and respect one another, as well as work as a team. Focusing on a common goal often gives a chance to achieve interdisciplinary collaboration. The collaboration always assists in improving the safety of patients and allows team members to formulate a correct plan for caregiving. Other than care, this approach also lowers the cost of hospitalization as well as those incurred by institutions when offering services. Therefore, it is important to barricade the barriers to effective collaboration by establishing active management as well as successful training among team members regarding the importance of communication skills and working together for a common goal.



Bender, M., Connelly, C.D., & Brown, C. (2013). Interdisciplinary collaboration: The role of the clinical nurse leader. Journal of Nursing Management, 21(1), 165-174.

Petri, L. (2010). A concept analysis of interdisciplinary collaboration. Nursing Forum, 45(2), 73-82.

Tang, C. J., Chan, S.W., Zhou, W.T., & Liaw, S.Y. (2013). Collaboration between hospital physicians and nurses: An integrated literature review. International Nursing Review, 60(3), 291-302.